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Installing Linux on
Toshiba Satelite Pro 6100

by Matthew Ford
9th July 2003

This is a description of the process I used to install RedHat V9 Linux on my Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 notebook while retiaining the Windows 2000 installation.

These installation instructions are based on RedHat 7.3 on Toshiba 6100(dead link), Setup of Toshiba 6100 Pro for GNU/Linux and Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 with Linux

The basic info for my notebook is:-

OS Name -- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Version -- 5.0.2195 Service Pack 2 Build 2195
System Manufacturer -- TOSHIBA
System Model -- Satellite Pro 6100
System Type -- X86-based PC
Processor -- x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~1595 Mhz
BIOS Version -- v1.60  
Total Physical Memory -- 523,056 KB
Hard Disk  -- 30Gig
Mouse -- Logitech PS/2  wireless-optical
Monitor -- NEC LCD1550V
Keyboard -- AT, connected to PS/2 port with splitter

The monitor, mouse and keyboard are switched between two computers via a switch box.

Making Space for Linux

First back up your hard disk. You are going to change the partition info on your hard disk and if you make a mistake you may have to completely re-install Windows.

Toshiba's recovery CD's automatically takes the whole hard disk for Windows so after you have backed up you need to change the size of the Windows partition to make space for Linux. I used a disk defragmentor and compactor (the trial version of PerfectDisk) to try and compact the existing Windows files into the lower half of the drive so I could split it in two. This was not completely sucessful as there where still large gaps in the disk allocation after the defragment had finished but it was good enough. I used PerfectDisk's display to estimate the minimum size partition I needed to keep all my existing Window's files. You can always do a clean install of Windows and then restore your backup to get a fully compacted hard disk.

Creating the Linux Partition

To create the Linux Partition I used BootIt NG. If you follow these instructions, you will need to pay for BootIt NG as you will continue to use it.

Create a boot disk or boot CD for BootIt and then follow the instructions on the web site to create two new partions, one for BootIt and one for Linux. Keep the boot disk handy as you will need it for kernel upgrades

I used the following install options. "Limited Partions", "Seperate Partition for BootIt" and "Let BootIt choose partitions"
I set the Linux and windows partitions to be visible to each other. When I had finished I had the following partition layout.

Windows 2000

17995 MB

HPFS/NTFS

Linux

10703 MB

LINUX NATIVE

BootIt EMBRM

8 MB

BootIt EMBRM

Installing RedHat V9.0

When installing RedHat Linux V9.0 I accepted most of the defaults with the following exceptions

  1. I selected the PS/2 Generic - Wheel Mouse.

  2. I chose Automatic Partitioning - Remove All Linux Partitions on this System

  3. I used the LILO loader and specified that it to be placed in the Linux boot partition rather than in the system MBR (BootIt is in the MBR)

  4. I selected "FORCE LBA32" as I could not get Linux to boot without this setting in my configuration

  5. In package selection I installed the GCC compiler and the Linux Kernel souce code. You will need this to generate a new video driver when you upgrade the kernel.

  6. For the video card I accepted RedHat's selection of Nvidia GForce video card

Once Linux was running I modified the /etc/modules.conf file to add

options NVreg_SoftEDIDs=0
options NVdriver Nvreg_Mobile=4

and modified Device section of the the /etc/X11/XF86Config file to

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Videocard0"
        Driver      "nvidia"
        VendorName  "Videocard vendor"
        BoardName   "NVIDIA GeForce 4 (generic)"
        VideoRam    32768
        Option  "ConnectedMonitor" "CRT, CRT"
EndSection

The only problem I still have is that Linux will hang on the USB check when booting if I use "Restart". The fix is to "Shutdown" first and then boot Linux.

Transferring file between Windows and Linux

To transfer files from Linux to Windows, I installed explore2fs on the Windows drive. This lets me see the Linux partitions and copy files from them to Windows. On the Linux side I installed the appropiate ntfs package. That site has detailed instructions on how to selecte the correct version for your kernel.

Kernel Updates

To update the kernel you need to download

You need the kernel source because the Nvidia driver package will try and build itself for your kernel after you update the kernel. If you installed to kernel source originally (as suggested above) then the RedHat update service will offer to update the kernel source when it updates the kernel.

Detailed steps are:-

  1. Download new kernel rpm

  2. Download the source for the new kernel

  3. Download ntfs support for this kernel

  4. Make sure the NVIDIA install...run file is available

  5. Make sure the notebook will boot from floppy first and BootITNG boot disk is available

  6. Un-install ntfs support
           rpm -e kernel-ntfs

  7. Install new kernel
           rpm -ihv kernel-.....rpm

  8. Install new kernel's sournce
           rpm -ihv kernel-source.....rpm

  9. Run lilo to update boot
           lilo
    You should see your existing kernel and the new one. The existing kernel should be the default (*)

  10. Reboot with floppy drive attached and BootITNG boot disk in (lilo overwrites the MBR for some reason so you need to re-install BootIt).

  11. Go to Maintainence and delete EMRB boot partition (Only clear it)

  12. Resume and Re-install BootITNG, When prompted choose ONLY 4 Partitions and let BootITNG choose the partition

  13. Remove Floppy drive and reboot. At RedHat screen choose new kernel (quickly use the down arrow to choose the new kernel from the list)

  14. When X11 says it cannot start answer NO to all questions to get back to the login prompt and log in as root

  15. Run the NVIDIA install
           sh ./NVIDIA-.....run
    This should build and install a new screen driver.

  16. Install the new ntfs support
           rpm -ivh kernel-ntfs....rpm

  17. Check it with
           /sbin/modprobe ntfs

  18. Reboot and choose new kernel again to check everything works

  19. Edit /etc/lilo.conf to make the new kernel the default (change the default= line to the label of the new kernel)
    Leave the old kernel available in case you need to go back.

  20. Final reboot


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